A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
By Nina Pajak
NYC had a visit from fun police this week, in the form of the New York City Hospitality Alliance and the New York State Liquor Authority. In response to supposed recent “press about restaurants around New York City that offer bottomless brunches or unlimited drink offers,” the NYHA put out a press release reminding citizens that such practices are “UNLAWFUL” (JUDGMENTAL CAPS LOCK EMPHASIS THEIRS; sarcastic caps lock emphasis mine).
This upsets me for reasons beyond the fact that I love getting out of bed on a Sunday with the sole intent to have a (lot of) cocktail(s) with my coffee. I’m all too aware that my days of getting silly over eggs benedict are over. Gone is the time in my life when I could drink three bloodies before 1 p.m. and then go drunk shopping and take a nap for three hours. It’s okay. I had my fun, and now I have a different sort of morning fun. It happens much, much earlier and involves significantly less vodka (but not altogether none, and it’s certainly “all I can drink”). I’m not bitter. But I need to know these things are still happening. That generations of people who come after me will still be knocking back breakfast cocktails with abandon as I mince banana to feed to the dog via my baby. I like to know that people are still out there enjoying the things I once youthfully enjoyed. It’s like if I heard my childhood skating rink closed. Was I ever going to be back there? Maybe, but probably not. It doesn’t matter—I have good memories of being there, and it was an iconic place that benefited the community, and it’s sad to think that people will no longer enjoy the same wholesome fun I once did.
Yes, actually, that is a precisely perfect comparison.
This is New York City! Anything goes here! We’re the city to beat. The city to envy. We basically invented Sunday Funday, and at the very least, we do it best. Our young people are broke and beautiful and they won’t be homeowners until they’re 45 and they do brunch really, really well. What is this, Boston? Next they’ll be telling us that pizza and dumpling places won’t be open at 4:30 a.m. and that they’re only going to release 20% of the taxis required between the hours of 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. from November through March.
I don’t want to panic for nothing. This law has been on the books for some time, and clearly it isn’t a huge priority for enforcement given how many bottomless deals there continue to be throughout the city. Honestly, all this local press probably isn’t helping matters. So I’ll be quiet now, and let’s just hope this goes away.
(However just in case, anyone under 25 and living in Manhattan reading this should hurry and make a reservation at that sushi place in Gramercy that lets you drink all the crappy wine or godawful sake you want for free with your mediocre dinner which you mostly won’t taste anyway. Take your twelve best and d-baggiest friends on a Saturday night and then go get into a big, embarrassing, noisy fight with your best friend/significant other/bouncer/total stranger at the birthday party you’re attending afterwards.)
Nina Pajak is a writer living with her husband, daughter and dog in Queens. Connect with Nina on Twitter!